Electrified self driving car future demonstrated by Waymo in Phoenix, Arizona

Self-driving 2017 Chrysler Pacifica captured in Phoenix, Arizona

With consumer ecological concern, government-mandated safety and auto emissions driving virtual reality accelerated car and light truck development, an electrified, self-driving, future becomes a certainty for Europe, the U.S., and Asia.

We’ve witnessed the slow but progressive evolution of the primary gasoline-fueled, internal combustion motivated car for the better part of 4 decades — it’s been an uphill drive, too often stalled by special interest legislation, economic downturn, illogical upticks in cheap plentiful fuel supply, and manufacture subsidized financing; all enabling consumer preference for relatively low fuel efficiency full size SUV platform rolling behemoths — the last of what we believe to be a dying rolling salute to the American ideals of yesteryear. Read about Honda’s fuel-efficient midsize SUV alternative.

Detroit’s “Big 3” will run with an Autonomous Car movement popularized by Tesla, Volvo, and others

By most accounts, we’re living in the 2nd “Golden Age” of automotive development. A time where near intuitive human to car connectivity becomes second nature. And “driving” as we know it, transitions into an infinitely programmable, fully autonomous scheduled ride experience.

Today The Advanced Car spotlights FCA, (Fiat Chrysler Auto) and Google’s upstart Waymo, (Waymo.com) forerunners in the highly competitive and growing field of Autonomous car technologies.

This week Waymo, formerly Google self-driving car project, signs a deal with FCA to expand its present fleet of 100 fully autonomous 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to 600. With 2.5 million self-driven miles recorded on the roads of 4 major U.S. cities, an electrified self-driving car future is upon us. Read more about 2017 Chrysler Pacifica from Green Car Journal.

Self-driving minivans and you

According to Waymo: FCA previously delivered 100 minivans, modified for self-driving, to Waymo during the second half of 2016. Production of the additional 500 minivans will ramp up beginning next month. Waymo will then outfit these vehicles with its self-driving technology.

Waymo also announced today that it is inviting members of the public to use its fleet of self-driving vehicles for everyday travel. Waymo’s early rider program will give selected Phoenix residents the opportunity to experience the self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans for the first time. Information about Waymo’s early rider program can be found at waymo.com/apply.

Excerpts from this article first appeared in CarsofChange.com 2017